Animal Clinic of Kalispell - June 2022




Cats tend to get the short end of the stick. They always seem to play second fiddle to dogs — even in the veterinary industry,

like an old man with a “get off my lawn” sign when they want to be left alone. Maybe that’s why we like them; they reflect our selfish, capricious, and antisocial sides back to us.

where companies invest less time and money into feline pharmaceuticals. Cat people, of course, put them first — cats are their lives. But despite making great pets, they tend to get a little overlooked by everyone else. Our patients here are about two-thirds dogs and one-third cats. But for some reason, we have days now and then when it seems like every patient I see is a cat. I call them “cat days.” Cat days are my favorite because they’re quieter, less messy, and less physically taxing. But cats are also a mental challenge — they mask their illnesses very well and respond to almost every condition with lethargy. Working with cats allows me to put on my thinking cap and dig deep into my diagnostic skills.

But while cats may be aloof, they’re also loyal in their own way (if for no other reason than they don’t like it when things change). Their consistency and sense of routine make them good companions, as do their playful yet moody personalities. They’re easy to fall in love with — even though they sometimes drive you crazy.

Sadly, my favorite cat, TJ, recently passed away from kidney failure. It all happened very quickly, and as anyone who has ever lost a pet knows, it has been a difficult time. TJ was the most easy-going cat in the world; he loved everybody, from dogs to other cats and people. It won’t be easy to find another cat like him. As a result, I’ve been spending extra time with my second favorite cat, our office

Funnily enough, for a future veterinarian, I was supremely allergic to cats as a kid. I couldn’t go anywhere with a cat, so naturally, I didn’t care for them. It made sense when my only frame of reference was “touch this animal, and you can’t breathe.” It lasted even through veterinary school. My wife and I wanted to try adopting a cat and got a particularly adorable one. But by the second night, I had to sleep in the car to get some relief, so we had to take her back to the shelter. Thanks to drug therapy, desensitization, and biological changes as I’ve gotten older, cats no longer bother me, except on rare occasions. I’ve now been a cat person for over a decade. (Don’t worry — I’m still a dog person, too!)

cat, Ozzie. He’s quite a mooch but a very lovable one.

June is National Adopt a Cat Month, and we’re right in the middle of kitten season. Though we sometimes experience a shortage of adoptable cats in the winter, there will be an abundance of tiny new felines needing a good home during the summer. When we’re ready, I’m sure my family will be adopting one of those little troublemakers ourselves. If you’re looking for a miniature yet feisty companion, check out the cats your favorite shelter has to offer. They probably won’t play fetch, but they’ll make up for it in many other ways.

– Dr. Jevon Clark

Cats see themselves as the center of the universe, which is part of what makes them fun. They’re loving and cuddly when they want to be, and they’re



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Parent or Friend: Being a parent is an honor — your child may have many friends, but there is only one of you. But some parents believe it’s possible to be both a parent and a friend at the same time, while others say you must be a parent first and a friend second. Child and family psychologist Dr. Emily W. King explains that you are your child’s first playmate and most important connection during their infancy and toddler years. But once your child is older, the relationship changes to protector and limit-tester. If you continue being the child’s playmate, this can send confusing messages to your children. Dr. King says that your children need a clear distinction between their friends and authoritative protective figures. It’s your role to set boundaries, rules, and guidance for your children; they need these guidelines to grow into a mature and responsible adult. If these guidelines aren’t set, it may cause a strain on your relationship with your child because you’re only trying to be their friend and not their parent. Research states that a lack of structure can weaken the parent- child relationship and make your child feel more controlled. CAN YOU BE BOTH TO YOUR CHILD?

Hi, everyone! My name is Angel, and even though I’m still a baby, I’ve gone through a lot. I met my family in December when Mom and Dad took some stuff to the garbage dump; that’s where I had lived. I ran right in front of their car. Since I was so tiny, Mom worried and tracked me down.

Once she found me, she couldn’t help but notice that I didn’t have any

eyeballs. That’s why I didn’t cross the street very safely! My parents thought someone had hurt me and rushed me to see Dr. Clark right away, but he explained that I’d been born this way. In the end, Dr. Clark sewed up my eyelids so I won’t get infected, and I get around just fine. Now, I’m all healed up and doing great! I live with my mom, dad, and three human brothers. I also have some sisters — a cat

But there is a way for you to find a balance between being your child’s friend and parent. Having a friendly relationship with your kids is essential. Research shows that children with warm, supportive, and empathetic parents tend to do better in school and are less likely to get into trouble. To do this, it’s best if you share stories and your childhood experiences with your children. You don’t have to tell them everything, or you can share more about your life as they get older. But sharing information with your child gives them something to relate to and provides them with a sense of safeness and trust. Simply spending time together and doing something you both enjoy can help create a strong foundation. Ultimately, when it comes to parenting and friendships, there is no correct answer. It depends on your family, your children, and what relationship works best for you and your child.

Homemade Meatballs for Dogs Who doesn’t love a meatball? This canine-safe variety makes for a bite-size snack, training incentive, or just-for-fun doggy treat. Inspired by




MY FAVORITE WAY TO GET OUT ON THE WATER One of the things I love most about Kalispell is how we live most of our lives outside. Since I grew up in Wyoming, I always did a lot of camping, fishing, and hiking as a kid. But the demands of the practice have only increased over the years, so it’s difficult to get away for several days at a time anymore. COME SAIL AWAY Luckily, I’ve found another outdoor hobby I can indulge in while staying close to home. Three years ago, I purchased a small one-person sailboat. Now, instead of needing three days away to get my fill of nature, I can enjoy the outdoors on the water for three hours in the evening.

(named Poppy) and two dogs (named Nana and Aspen). Poppy is a great big sister; we love to cuddle, she loves to bathe me, and I like to listen to her feet and follow her through the house. Mom says it’s like I have eyes in my ears! Since I can’t see, I’ve learned to listen carefully to everything around me and memorize where everything is in the house. Sometimes

I get a little confused, and the couch isn’t where I think it is. But I’m more accurate than you’d think, and I use my whiskers to avoid running into things.

I even get the zoomies, just like other kittens. I love to run all around the house, jump on the furniture, climb the curtains, and even playfully swat at people when they go by. It’s especially fun trying to catch Nana’s tail when I hear it making a “swish-swish” sound. She doesn’t mind — at least, not too much.

Mom says I look like a snowy owl with all the hair in my ears, and Dad says I look like a gerbil! I think I probably look like a cat, but I guess I’ll have to take their word for it. I love to snuggle with all of my family members, and I’m so happy I found a nice safe place to live. Some people might feel bad for me because I have no eyes, but I think I’m one lucky cat.

I previously co-owned a sailboat with a friend, but it felt way too big to operate by myself, and I’d only get to go about once a year. That boat wrecked in a storm and got destroyed, which inspired me to buy something smaller. The “new” 60-year-old ship looked to be in pretty rough shape, but it was the exact same boat my uncle introduced me to 40 years ago, so I decided to fix it up. Since the lake is just down the road, I now use it often. I first learned to sail from my dad’s friend who had a boat and was involved in a racing league. He let us crew for him, and I had a lot of fun. But you learn to sail by doing, and that’s where my uncle’s smaller boat came in handy. In short, you’ve got to flip the ship a few times before realizing what you should and shouldn’t do, and each boat has its own personality to learn. Last summer, I sailed on the northern part of the lake, where the wind is unpredictable, and twice got caught in almost gale-force winds. You learn a lot standing on the gunwale with one foot in the water and the ship almost on its side. I actually planned how to dive away from the sail if the boat finally flipped, but miraculously, the vessel righted itself, and all was well. With stories like that, it’s probably no wonder that I can’t convince my wife to come out on the water with me. But I always stay close to shore and have my cellphone on hand. I figure the worst that can happen is that I’ll get a little wet. It’s well worth it for a chance to be on the water with Mother Nature.


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1 lb ground beef

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2 oz low-fat yogurt 1/2 cup almond flour

1 tbsp chopped parsley, fresh or dried 1 egg or 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened


1. 2.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef. 3. Chop parsley and add it to the bowl. 4. Lightly beat the egg with a fork and add it to the bowl, or add applesauce if using as a substitute. 5. Add the yogurt and almond flour, then mix all ingredients well. 6. With hands, form the mixture into small meatballs. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the meatballs on top. 7. Cool completely before giving to your dog as a treat. Freeze extra meatballs for later use.

– Dr. Jevon Clark







Why Feline Pets Are the Cat’s Whiskers

2 Share Personal Stories With Your Children

2 Meet Eyeless Wonder Angel

2 Homemade Meatballs for Dogs

3 The Thrill and Serenity of Sailing


The Bull This Small Town Needed

Be Like Buster the Bull


Nothing compares to a good friend. They’re someone who will listen and provide support when you need it most. For everyone in Spartanburg, South Carolina — and eventually the whole world — that was Buster the Bull.

As Wynne’s connection to Buster grew, she began posting about him on Facebook, and soon enough, the bull had a huge following. People from across the nation and the globe knew that Buster was special, with an uncanny ability to listen and offer knowledge in a way only cows can. And he provided comfort to all who knew him. One time, a fan of Buster’s asked if he could meet the bull. The man was dying, and one of the last things he wanted to do was meet the cow who had given him some solace during his final days. With permission from his doctor, the man drove two hours to meet Buster, hauling a basket of apples along the way. Although kind, Buster was never one to eat apples that didn’t come from his tree. But that day, Buster knew those apples were special, and he ate them. Buster did that for a friend. In November 2020, Buster walked into the woods and laid down to pass away. He had been sick, and despite some treatment, the all-knowing bull just knew it was time. He had done what he came here to do: spread kindness. Today, his friendship still lives on for the residents of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and all the fans of Buster the Bull.

Buster’s talent for companionship wasn’t discovered until Wynne Smith moved into the farm next to Buster’s. After he appeared in her barn one day, Wynne was a little scared, but soon, as Wynne told Reader’s Digest in August 2021, Buster became a confidant. “Somehow, he knew when I was home and would come to stand next to my house, and we’d talk over the fence,” Wynne said. “If I had a hard day at work, he heard about it. If something exciting was going on at home, he heard about it. He would stand or lie beside the fence and keep me company, give a knowing glance or breath, and I would feel better. When it was time to end the conversation, he’d turn and walk away.”



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